Chris Slee

MELBOURNE — Eighty people rallied on the morning of February 14 to commemorate the 2004 death of Redfern teenager TJ Hickey and demand an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody. The crowd observed a minute's silence in memory of TJ, who was killed while being chased by police. It also expressed its support for TJ's mother, Gail Hickey, who has lodged a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
MELBOURNE — A pre-sentence hearing began on February 2 for three Tamil men who have pleaded guilty to providing money to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a group that fought for three decades for self-determination for the oppressed Tamil people of Sri Lanka.
On November 29, 50 people attended a forum on Sri Lanka organised by People for Human Rights and Equality, a multi-ethnic group comprising people of Sri Lankan origin living in Australia.
October 1 will mark 60 years since Mao Zedong proclaimed the creation of the Peoples Republic of China. This followed the victory of the People’s Liberation Army, led by the Communist Party of China, over the US-backed Guomindang (Nationalist Party).
More than 500 people attended the launch of the Victorian chapter of the Australian Tamil Congress (ATC) on August 15.
MELBOURNE— Forty people attended a meeting organised by the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) on August 12 to discuss Indigenous deaths in custody. In particular, the meeting discussed the case of Aboriginal elder Mr Ward, who died of heat stress in the back of a prisoner transport vehicle in Western Australia.
A forum on human rights and media freedom in Sri Lanka attracted 200 people on June 6.
The Sri Lankan government claims to be on the verge of totally defeating the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE — also known as the Tamil Tigers). The LTTE has fought for more than 30 years for an independent state for the Tamil people on the northern and eastern parts of the island.
On April 17 a judge issued an order for seizure of property against Sean Pickard, an activist involved in campaigns for Indigenous rights. This follows his failure to pay fines that were imposed as a result of convictions on five counts of “failing to produce a ticket” on Melbourne’s privatised public transport system.
Sacked shop steward and OH&S representative Joe Angelino has been re-employed, ending a two-week standoff between the Construction, Forestry, Mining, Energy Union and his employer, Caelli Constructions, at the construction site for the new children's hospital in Parkville.
Commonwealth prosecutors have dropped nine of the charges against three Tamil men, Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, Sivarajah Yathavan and Arumugam Rajeevan.
The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union has been blockading the site of the new children’s hospital construction project in Parkville. The blockade is a response to the sacking of Joe Angelino, a shop steward who is also a health and safety representative.
“The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) plans to shed thousands of full-time jobs and drastically increase outsourcing in areas including debt collection, tax refund management and business activity statements as part of a new efficiency drive”, according to the February 13 Australian Financial Review.
Sri Lankan Air Force bombers destroyed the Ponnampalam Memorial Hospital in the town of Puthukkudiyiruppu in northern Sri Lanka on February 6. According to Tamilnet.com, 61 patients were killed in the attack.
On January 2, after five months of fighting, the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) finally captured the town of Kilinochchi in northern Sri Lanka.
Sean Pickard, an Indigenous rights activist, has been threatened with jail for non-payment of fines imposed as a result of convictions on five counts of “failing to produce a ticket” on Melbourne’s privatised public transport system.

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